When librarians become rock stars…

Ashley’s recent keynote to the Broadcast Content Management Conference acknowledges the ever growing role of metadata and content management in getting the right stuff at the right time to the people who want it. The value of metadata in content management cannot be understated. … mind you he then he did say Metadata is dull, no doubt about it... Interesting to think that maybe one day kudos is given not to who made the content but how expertly it’s classified.

Plenty of other interesting stuff in there too.. particularly It starts to get really interesting when we begin breaking completely free of the linear schedule to offer two perhaps more profound services, that of Catch-Up On-Demand TV, and the deep programme back-catalogue online service.

Amen. In an ideal world bbc.co.uk would stop being used to ‘advertise’ terrestrial programming, or provide character blurb, or the odd recipe, biog or skinker, but be a full independent content delivery platform re-offering and enriching our IP products. We simply have to evolve away from ‘turn of this medium and go and use another’ type messages and to a ‘ahh, so you want that do you.. here you go’.

The examples given by Ashley, particularly the animated Doctor Who one, struck a cord with me this past week. As the posts below show, we went mad on the ‘Whomepage’ recently, and this week we’ve spent a bit of time looking at what users thought of that treatment.. expect an in-depth post on this later.

But in short, I think we need to be a little more self-depreciating, I think it’s good that we’re starting to change bbc.co.uk once in a while to reflect the content being showcased. We should align itself with the issues of the day to show people that we’re in tune with what they’re thinking and feeling, and needing. This way people when confronted by an issue think, “well what’s the BBC’s stance on this?”.

Naturally there’s some parts of the BBC’s output that should be ring fenced, news and current affairs for example, but most other things I reckon are fair game. Off the top of my head what about… The Ouch team put in charge of the Lifestyles portal and for one week… and maybe they’d drop the traditional glossy magazine look and create new and specific content say on what it’s like to cook when you have a disability. And some people will complain, some people will always complain, but I reckon a lot more people will be surprised, interested and supportive of such ventures.

So the ‘Doctor Whomepage’ kicked the ant hill of bbc.co.uk, and at least generated some discourse…. which is no bad thing, there’s more to come hopefully.

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I've left it here for historical purposes. Please visit my new blog at www.foodjournalist.co.uk

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
June 2005
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